If you intend to use the camera as a monitoring and surveillance tool be aware that you will need to buy a compatible digital video recorder if you intend to retain surveillance footage for later use. You must also be aware of the legal requirements and implications of your actions, and take appropriate professional advice. Linking a camera to a website can also be a useful marketing tool.
One area of particular interest has been the advent of low-cost wireless network connected cameras. These devices are ideal for use in the home or small office to provide a monitoring and surveillance capability that hitherto was not financially feasible.
Table of Contents
- 1 Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (Black)
- 2 Dropcam Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera
- 3 Foscam FI9821W Indoor Pan/Tilt H.264 720p Wireless IP Camera, 1/4″ Color CMOS Sensor, F: 2.8mm F:2.4 (IR Lens), IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wireless Connectivity, Black
- 4 D-Link DCS-930L mydlink-Enabled Wireless-N Network Camera
- 5 Foscam FI8909W-NA Wireless/Wired IP/Network Camera with 7 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67 Viewing Angle)
- 6 D-Link Wireless HD Day/Night Outdoor Network Surveillance Camera with mydlink-Enabled (DCS-2332L)
- 7 Samsung SmartCam Wireless Day/Night Video Monitoring IP Camera with Wi-Fi Direct Setting – New Updated Version 2.0 / Manufacture Refurbished
- 8 Dropcam Pro Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera
- 9 Wansview NCM621W H.264 Mega Pixel Outdoor Pan / Tilt Wireless/Wired IP Camera with Support TF Card, 8mm Lens, 36pcs IR LED, up to 25 meter Night Vision
- 10 NETGEAR VueZone Home Video Monitoring System – 2 Camera Kit (VZSM2700)
Foscam FI8910W Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with Two-Way Audio and Night Vision (Black)
Foscam concentrate mainly on the commercial rather than home market. However, the FI8910W is at the entry level of their range and is suitable in price and function for use in the domestic environment. It comes with an infra-red capability and management software. Additional management apps allow it to be remotely controlled over a network connection via IoS and Android devices.
Dropcam Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera
This compact Dropcamunit is a popular choice, providing high-quality video capabilities at 720p quality. It is easy to set up and operate. However, in comparison with other offerings it is expensive. If you need a compact profile, you may wish to consider this unit.
Foscam FI9821W Indoor Pan/Tilt H.264 720p Wireless IP Camera, 1/4″ Color CMOS Sensor, F: 2.8mm F:2.4 (IR Lens), IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wireless Connectivity, Black
The Foscam FI9821W is similar to the FI8910W, but can record in HD format in both visual and infra-red, which may be important in some applications. As with the FI8910W, it has management software and the ability to use apps to provide remote control from smartphones and other compatible devices. It conforms to all wireless standards upto broadband speeds, (801.11 b/g/n) and offers a two way audio system.
D-Link are well known for their networking products like switches and routers, and are a relatively recent entrant to this market space. As with their other products their IP network cameras are good quality and affordable.
This device, the DCS-930L, is a good option for the home user, but does not provide HD quality images. It has a compact profile and once physically installed is easy to set up and use. If you have an IPhone, there is a management app available for remote control and management.
Foscam FI8909W-NA Wireless/Wired IP/Network Camera with 7 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67 Viewing Angle)
This Foscam unit, the FI8909W-NA is the first on this list to offer a motion detection capability. It’s very compact design makes it easy to conceal when installed, but at the price of not supporting 720p.
The motion detection links to an email alert capability. It supports infrared detection for use in dark environments. As with other Foscam devices, it has management software and the ability to use apps to provide remote control from smartphones and other compatible devices.
This D-Link camera approaches the top end of the price list, but offers some impressive compensating features. With a high level of design and build quality, it is waterproof, and can be used both indoors and outdoors. The compact design allows fo easy installation and concealment.
Video Quality is 720p and coupled with a night-vision capability has an effective range of about 15 feet. The motion detection links to an email alert capability.
Finally, on-line real-time remote viewing is available via a browser of by using a smartphone or tablet app.
Samsung SmartCam Wireless Day/Night Video Monitoring IP Camera with Wi-Fi Direct Setting – New Updated Version 2.0 / Manufacture Refurbished
This is the smallest unit on this list. It is primarily an indoor unit, but can be installed outside if it is protected from water and humidity. Video quality is adequate, and is complemented by audio input and output via a high quality microphone and a small speaker. Very useful for baby-watching, and has been used for video-conferencing.
The software that comes with the unit operates on a smartphone or tablet via a browser interface. It provides the owner with ability to manage the unit from IoS and Android devices, including the option to upload video directly to video streaming websites.
Dropcam Pro Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera
This is an upgraded version of the Dropcam unit reviewed above, compact in form. Video recording quality is much improved. Dual band WiFi allows for easier installation and configuration. Video compression is available. It is easy to install and operate.
Management software is comprehensive and intuitive, and the IoS and Android compatibility means that the owner can manage the unit from a compatible browser, smartphone or tablet.
Wansview NCM621W H.264 Mega Pixel Outdoor Pan / Tilt Wireless/Wired IP Camera with Support TF Card, 8mm Lens, 36pcs IR LED, up to 25 meter Night Vision
If your requirement is baby monitoring or home security, the Wansview NCM621W is well worth consideration. Mounted outside or inside, it is quite big so not easy to conceal, but is affordable and hosts many useful features. The unit has the great option of recording video to an SD card inserted into the unit, so you do not need a no computer connection to operate it. Obviously, though, no remote management is possible without a network connection. The video can be compressed to improve recoding time.
Infra-red visibility is around 25 meters.
NETGEAR VueZone Home Video Monitoring System – 2 Camera Kit (VZSM2700)
On most occasions, owners will need more than one camera. This offering comes pre-packaged with two WiFi cameras. Indoor or outdoor mounting is easy by using the magnetic clips.
They are unusual being battery powered, but conserve battery power by only operating via the motion sensing feature, or when being used via the remote management software. The software is available via a browser, or a compatible smartphone or tablet app. It’s not a 24/7 surveillance system for the commercial market, but more a way for owners to check their property, pets or baby.